Friday night's 4-3 shootout win by the Washington Capitals over the Carolina Hurricanes had a playoff atmosphere feel, which is why emotions got the better of winger Nino Niederreiter, who slashed Capitals forward Axel Jonsson-Fjallby.
After being checked partially into the Capitals bench by Tom Wilson, the 29-year-old had his helmet come off and then slashed Jonsson-Fjallby. The NHL Department of Player Safety has suspended Niederreiter one game for the incident.
The Department of Player Safety released a video explaining their decision, stating that Niederreiter's slash wasn't due to a player flailing recklessly and hitting Jonsson-Fjallby. Instead, the Hurricanes forward purposely hit the 24-year-old sitting on the bench.
Niederreiter argued that he was frustrated on the play and delivered the slash with minimal force and did receive a slashing penalty for that incident during the game.
However, the Department of Player Safety states that due to the lack of force and having no suspensions in his career, he received a one-game ban for the incident and not more.
The Capitals and Hurricanes will meet again on March 28th at Capital One Arena.